Commencal announced that it has developed a new suspension platform for its 2015 Meta range of mid-travel trailbikes and AM/enduro racers, both based upon 27.5-inch wheels. The Contact System is a big step away from the Andorra-based bike maker’s V3 suspension configuration, with its top-tube-mounted shock, driven by a simple two-stage rocker linkage. The Contact System was developed to simplify the frame’s construction and, most importantly, to reduce its weight.
Commencal’s previous Meta V3 suspension system, with its floating shock, low center of mass, and square-edge-bump smoothing action, was well received by hard core riders. The sole complaints about the design centered on the weight of Commencal’s Meta all-mountain and trailbikes not being competitive with the new crop of mid-travel carbon machines, spawned by the popularity of enduro. Max Commencal is a self-professed believer in aluminum construction as both a people- and an earth-friendly material, so while replicating the V3 chassis in carbon may have been an easier path to weight reduction, it was not an option. Instead, Commencal opted to develop an entirely new suspension chassis.
V4 Contact System
The V4 frame is constructed from heavily butted and manipulated aluminum tubing, with the key structural member being its three-piece top tube. The center of the top tube is a lightweight forging that is widened and hollow to allow the shock to nest into it. The novel shock mount adapts to the most wanted reservoir dampers and its configuration helps to keep the suspension forces lined up with the centerline of the top tube in order to minimize unnecessary stress to the frame. The single-pivot swingarm hinges quite high above the bottom bracket, reportedly to firm up the bike’s pedaling feel and also to provide a more optimal axle path. The location of the rear dropout pivot is set as close to the axle centerline as possible, presumably to enhance the sensitivity of the suspension while braking.
|Max Commencal is a self-professed believer in aluminum construction as both a people- and an earth-friendly material, so while replicating the V3 chassis in carbon may have been an easier path to weight reduction, it was not an option.|
V4 frames are built in two versions: the lighter, 120-millimeter-travel Meta Trail, and the 150-millimeter-travel Meta AM. Both have internal cable routing for shifting and also for a dropper seatpost. Both use a post-type rear brake mount that is tucked inside the stays to protect it from harm and an optional front derailleur hanger for holdouts who don’t like the V4 Meta’s standard-issue one-by drivetrains. The longer travel V4 Meta AM features ISCG-05 bosses, which most enduro racers use in one form or another, and its frame geometry is slacker than the trail model. Four sizes will be available: small, medium, large and X-large, and weighs for a medium fram without shoock are stated at 3kg for the V4 AM and 2.9kg for the V4 Trail model. Contact System:
Their ‘new’ suspension design is a simple seatstay-driven rocker link. The shock is mounted to a clevis that Commencal says, allows the damper to pivot smoothly on ball bearings, and also contributes to the suspension’s leverage curve – one that reportedly provides small bump sensitivity at the beginning of the travel, while managing to provide more support and a firmer pedaling feel at the sag position. If this is true, then the new V-4 platform’s performance under power should easily best that of its V3 predecessor. We have good reason that it will, as the few competitors that use a similar suspension configuration are all top performers in the mid-travel trailbike arena.
META V4 AM
|META V4 AM: Geometry ||Small ||Medium ||Large ||X-large |
|Seat tube length ||400mm" ||440mm ||490mm ||520mm |
|Seat angle ||72° ||72° ||72° ||72° |
|Head tube length ||110mm" ||115mm ||120mm ||125mm |
|Head angle ||66° ||66° ||66° ||66° |
|Wheelbase ||1144mm ||1167mm ||1193mm ||1225mm |
|Top tube length ||570mm ||591mm ||618mm ||650mm |
|Chain stay length ||437mm ||437mm ||437mm ||437mm |
|Bottom bracket height ||-12mm ||-12mm ||-12mm ||-12mm |
|Stand-over height ||705mm ||715mm ||743mm ||750mm |
|Reach ||403mm ||423mm ||448mm ||466mm |
|Stack ||596mm ||601mm ||605mm ||610mm |
META V4 AM - R: Specs:
• Frame: Aluminum, 150mm travel, META V4 AM
• Wheel size: 27.5"
• Bottom Bracket: BB92 Pressfit, ISCG 05 tabs
• Front derailleur option: High, direct mount adapter
• Fork: RockShox Pike RCT3 Solo Air, 160mm
• Shock: RockShox Monarch RT3, 150mm
• Drivetrain: SRAM X1 1x11 speed
• Wheelset: Alpha 27.5: tubeless ready
• Seatpost: KS Lev Integra 125mm dropper post
• Weight (frame only - no shock) 3.0 kg
• MSRP: 3299 € (USD TBD)
META V4 TRAIL